Michigan AG announces first charges in Boy Scouts of America investigation

Former Michigan Boy Scout troop leader faces 10 criminal sex conduct charges

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Wednesday announced the first criminal charges in connection with the state’s investigation into the Boy Scouts of American and claims of child sex abuse made against the organization. Here is the full news briefing from March 9, 2022.

DETROIT – Michigan’s attorney general on Wednesday announced the first criminal charges in connection with an investigation into the Boy Scouts of America after thousands of people filed claims of child sex abuse against the organization.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and members from the Michigan State Police held a news conference to announce the charges and share an update on their investigative efforts.

This live stream has ended. You can watch the full briefing in the video player above.

According to Nessel a former Michigan man is facing 10 total charges for allegedly sexually abusing two victims when they were children. Mark Chapman, an ex-Boy Scout troop master in Macomb County and employee at a church, has been charged with first- and second-degree criminal sex conduct in connection with two victims, one of which is a family member, officials said.

Chapman has been living in New York since 2007 and is currently being held at a corrections facility in the state. Officials say they are working to get him extradited back to the state.

More details: Ex-Macomb County Boy Scout leader charged with sexually abusing 2 children

Within the Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy case that was filed in February 2020, nearly 90,000 claims of sexual abuse were filed. The BSA is said to have filed for bankruptcy in an effort to block hundreds, at that time, of lawsuits against them, claiming child sexual abuse. The number of claimants soared as the case moved forward.

Last June, AG Nessel said 1,700 of those 90,000 abuse claims were filed from the state of Michigan, but they believed that number to actually be closer to 3,000. In partnership with MSP, Nessel launched an investigation in June 2021 into the sex abuse claims filed against the Boy Scouts of America.

“My department has proven our commitment to accountability through similar sex abuse investigations and I believe -- with the public’s help -- we can secure justice for survivors who endured abuse through Boy Scouts of America,” Nessel said last year. “We stand ready to fight for those wronged by people they should have been able to trust.”

In July of last year, the BSA reached an $800 million agreement with attorneys representing about 60,000 victims of child sex abuse. The agreement marked one of the largest sums in U.S. history involving cases of sexual abuse, but still left disagreements between attorneys representing both sides.

Just last month, the BSA reached a tentative $2.6 billion deal with a group representing about 80,000 men who had filed sex abuse claims against the organization. The agreement -- the largest aggregate sex abuse settlement in U.S. history -- reportedly includes plans to enhance child protection measures for Boy Scouts, and establish independent oversight of settlement payment distribution for eligible abuse claimants.

Read more: Boy Scouts: Tentative deal with official sex abuse claimants

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.